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Hot Wheels

April 10, 2017

This weekend has seen a whole bunch of vehicular fun, so… buckle up? Is that too corny?

CAR TESTING

A new build of physics-enabled vehicles fun is currently doing the rounds in internal testing. The general consensus is still that they are ‘way better than we were expecting’, so hats off to all the work put in by EP, Martin and Yuri from General Arcade.

In our new build different car models have different handling and performance and when you’re speeding down the road you’ll occasionally be forced into a hard brake by the pile-ups of wrecked cars that we have envisaged for the edges of the map. These still need work, but one thing that’s pretty cool is that each wreck is a physics object, so you’ll be able to smash your way through if you’re in a pinch.

Right now it takes 5-6 minutes to drive from West Point to Muldraugh, and around 10 if you’re making the trip all the way up to Rosewood Prison – which will knock off about a quarter of tank of gas in an average car. This already feels fairly balanced, but will clearly come under scrutiny when we’re playing around with the system later on. We will also need to make zombies very interested in engine noise.

Here’s a video of our current vehicles build, as provided by the ever-lovable Mark.exe. Please note, as ever, that everything in the vid is WIP and in development – visuals, handling, UI, zombie collision and everything.

Martin’s new textures mean that cars pop out of the screen less than they did , but we are also going to experiment without using gradients – which could result in them looking more at home in the PZ world and its colours. We’re currently doing a few new textures with this in mind, and hope to get a few examples into our next internal test build.

Alongside general implementation and gameplay tasks that still need doing, this test flagged a few more things that need attention, and a few of which we’ve worked on today. Wheels need more detail so you can see them spin, there needs to be less ‘float’ on sharp turns, we need shadows placed under vehicles so they look a little more grounded and there’s also a few flickers and (non vehicular) MP crashes that need attention.

We should also do our best to limit this sort of zombie car-tipping – although it is quite fun.

BUILD 37

So Build 37 is nearly here – it’s just a matter of checking its fixes are working correctly, and maaaybe squeezing a few more nuggets from The Great Bug Purge in too.

To this end we’ve just released Build 37.6 into the IWBUMS public beta. This adds new annotated stash maps to the game for equipment hidden in offices, restaurants and warehouses – and introduces maps for all the major urban hubs on the PZ map. You can also rename map items should you want to make their uses clearer in your inventory, and that of you MP buddies.

As mentioned last week, this also features changes to the MP sleep system and some assaults on longstanding issues like saucepan rain, co-op curtain sync and many/various gamepad eccentricities.

BUILD BEYOND

Clearly work on overriding systems and animations continue in the background while vehicles thunder forwards into view, but we’ve also got some smaller nuggets in the can for Build 38. Stuff like extra powers for Admins over player inventories, Discord integration into MP chat and the ever increased likelihood that the next map update will be ready to roll for it too.

In more general PZ news: as of today we have a new team-member! He’s a super-talented guy with a bunch of games industry experience garnered from a multitude of different projects (some small, some massive, some Zomboid-size) and he’ll be working deep in our codebase for the foreseeable future. It’s only his first week though, so we’ll let him bed in a bit before demanding Mondoid contributions.

This week’s last stand from Levi [Hun]. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is now open for chat and hijinks too. A general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming can be found here. Mod Spotlight blog featuring the lovely Nolan now coming tomorrow on projectzomboid.com. Thanks all!

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